Welcome to Hutch Post’s new feature series "A Day in the Life." We've gone behind the scenes to see what "a day in the life" is like for some of Reno County's busiest shops, factories and businesses. We'll show the inner workings of facilities you may pass every day, to finally see what goes on inside. From boilers to donuts, join us as we learn how things are designed and produced right here in Reno County with "A Day in the Life." This series will be posted every other Sunday morning.
By ROD ZOOK
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A Day in the Life series begins with a look into the inner workings of one of Hutchinson's oldest companies, Hubco. Hutchinson Bag Company was started in 1919 by Emerson Carey as a way to aid his budding salt mining industry.
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Today, Hubco manufactures and prints cloth, woven, and non-woven textile bag packaging in a variety of fabrics, sizes and styles. Hubco serves a wide range of industries, offering many stock and custom bags for food products, feed, seed, mining and oil, cathodic protection, and mailing and parts. The company changed its name to Hubco in 1991 and has been a staple of the Hutchinson industry for 103 years.
The process starts in a warehouse just south of the plant where large rolls of cloth and burlap are delivered and stored. When needed, the rolls are moved to the plant where they are cut into various-sized rolls for manufacturing depending on the size of the bag.
While it looks like this machine cuts the fabric, it actually uses small teeth to tear the fabric in a corrugated pattern so it doesn't unravel during the manufacturing process.
Once the rolls are cut, they are set aside according to size and wait for their run through the production line.
Once the bags are prepped, they are moved to the printing area where a number of printers can put one or multiple colors of ink on the fabric.
Now that the bags are printing, it’s time for the manufacturing process to begin. Various machines sew the bags. This includes inserting labels and placing holes for drawstrings or other methods of securing the bag. The bags can be large or small. One of Hubco’s strengths is its willingness to make small runs of bags for individuals who may have a niche market for small items. The bags are sewn in various areas, either by machine or even by hand.
The bags are then packaged and shipped to their destinations. Hubco started with five employees and now employs 54 people (nine in the office and 45 in the plant). Hubco credits its stability and ongoing success to its loyal employees. One employee has been with the company for 50 years. Like most, Hubco says it could use more employees and credits its work environment for its low workforce turnover.
A Day in the Life continues Sunday, July 3, with a look at Westphal Jewelers.